Dragon's Dogma

Dragon’s Dogma: Now Playing

I cannot say enough about this game. It has quickly become one of my favorite games that I literally cannot set down. Check out my coverage of the Dragon’s Dogma Demo from a few months back. Dragon’s Dogma puts you in the shoes of the Arisen, the one person chosen every few hundred years or so to take on the lands most feared dragon. As you play you get “pawns” to aid you in your quest, which are your AI controlled companions. You can have up to 3. They do a surprisingly great job aiding you. They are smart and use their healing and support items/spells when needed and the kick butt in combat. Sometimes I find myself trying to hurry up to the fight, because they have spotted the pack of wolves before me, and if I don’t get in there quick, they make take all the fun of the slaughter!

This game is big! I haven’t explored it all yet, as I like to see and do everything in my playthroughs, so I tend to take longer than others to explore every corner, find every chest, and finish all quests before moving on. But I’ve been playing for well over 50 hours and it would appear that I’ve still got more than 2/3 the world left to explore and uncover. Each new portion of the map that’s uncovered expertly brings forth new enemies to tackle. The first region has some bunnies, and a few goblins, but as you progress, a Chimera, Cyclops’, Ogres, undead, bandits, and Saurin (Lizard like warriors) litter the world at every turn, and that’s only to name a few!

Combat

The combat is central to what makes this game so great. It feels so weighty. Every swing of the sword and pull of the bow feel powerful.  When those blows land, it’s with a thick and chunky cut of enemy flesh. That and the class skills are incredibly diverse. I started the game as a Strider, which is a real testament to the combat system as I always play as a mage. So to choose a melee class means that it has to be over the top great for me to pick it. After getting my feet wet with the demo, I had a feeling I’d be more than satisfied with the Strider class. Boy was I right.

Nocking arrows and letting them fly from afar slitting the enemy forces first before dashing in with my daggers and tearing them to shreds is something you must experience. You gain “Discipline” points as you fight, that are used to purchase new upgraded skills. Instead of the simple +/- attribute boosts, Capcom gives full on new attacks moves! My favorite combo with the Strider class is to throw Ensnare (which casts out cords to snare foes, pulling them to the ground to incapacitate them) Then use Toss and Trigger when their close (Which steps in with a blade strike that sends the target aloft. Additional button presses throw and detonate a store of powder for an explosion.) After ensnaring them and sending them flying sky-high and blowing them up if that doesn’t kill them, I’ll finish ’em off with swift kicks and repeated dagger blows.

A Little Bit Of Everything

That’s just a few skills of which there’s dozens more, and that’s just for the Strider class. There are Fighters, Warriors, Sorcerers, Magic Archers, Mystic Knights, Assassins, and Ranger. Each class has a massive list of abilities and upgrades, each with their own unique play style and skills. Along with the smaller foes, there are much larger enemies, and the game has no problem sicking it’s bestiary on you from the get go. You can grasp and climb attack all of these bigger beasts. What’s so great about this combat system is that depending on where you hit the creatures your damage output will be higher. If you strike the head it will do considerably more damage than if you strike the foot. This makes for very real combat that adds depth to awesome game.

Just know that if you like open-world games, with lots of exploring and deep class based combat with satisfying weight to the movements and attacks, upgrading gear for better stats, (that also changes the look of your character to reflect the new gear) then you have a true masterpiece on your hands in Dragon’s Dogma. Graphically Dragon’s Dogma may not be as crisp as Uncharted, but it’s not slouch. Don’t be fooled by mediocre reviews from your favorite gaming site, this game is the real deal, and it has fun in spades! If you don’t currently own this game, drop what you’re doing and RUN out and buy it immediately. You won’t be disappointed.

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